Toots and the Maytals and ballet in Vail: Tricia's Top Weekend Picks |

Rodeos, reggae, star gazing and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 7/26/19

Eagle County Fair and Rodeo

For eight decades the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo has brought together families and friends to enjoy some western fun in Eagle. Come on down to the Eagle County Fairgrounds to celebrate the county’s western heritage.

Families can have fun with offerings such as carnival rides, exhibits, racing pigs, a petting zoo and contests. It’s also a way to support youth education with 4-H shows and the Junior Livestock Auction on Saturday. The nights heat up with classic rodeo action as the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Rodeo takes to the dirt.

Wear some pink on Friday because it is “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” night, which benefits the Shaw Cancer Center. Saturday Night honors our local veterans with “Patriotic Night” and everyone is encouraged to wear some red, white and blue. Nashville recording artist Buck Ford will take the stage both nights after the rodeo to allow those who want to kick up their heels an opportunity to do so. Here’s a look at the schedule. For a full list of activities and events, go to


9 a.m. – 8 p.m. – 4-H and Open Class Exhibits

12 p.m. – Carve Wars Kids Academy with the chainsaw carving demo team

3 p.m. – Carnival and vendor booths open

4:30-8 p.m. – Petting zoo, pony rides, kids crafts, Carve Wars chainsaw demos

7 p.m.  – PRCA Rodeo (ticketed event)

9-11 p.m. – Free Buck Ford Concert


9 a.m. – 8 p.m. – 4-H and Open Class Exhibits

10 a.m. – Pretty Baby contest

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.  – Cow Patty and Ba-Ba Bingo for the Eagle Valley Land Trust

12 p.m. – Carnival and vendor booths open, Carve Wars Kids Academy, Junior Livestock barbecue (ticketed event)

1 p.m. – Junior Livestock Auction

4 – 8 p.m. – Petting zoo, pony rides, kids crafts

7 p.m.  – PRCA Rodeo (ticketed event)

9-11 p.m. – Free Buck Ford Concert

Vail Dance Festival

The Vail Valley Foundation is excited to usher in the fourth decade of the Vail Dance Festival. Each year, the creativity and collaborations grow and allow audiences to connect with the beautiful and athletic styles of art that cross the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater stage and beyond. From ballet to modern, tap to hip-hop, the movement will move you.

New this year is the Malpaso Dance Company from Cuba and you won’t want to miss BalletX bringing the classic tale, “The Little Prince”, to life on stage. These new offerings, plus numerous world premieres and opportunities to get closer to dance fill this year’s festival, which runs through Aug. 10. Here’s the line up for this weekend:


Opening Night – Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater – 7:30 p.m.

Highlights include artist-in-residence and New York City Ballet ballerina Lauren Lovette, a preview appearance by Cuba’s Malpaso Dance Company and artists from American Ballet Theater.


American Ballet Theater– Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater – 7:30 p.m.

American Ballet Theater returns for a second year after its sold-out performance in 2018. Highlights include the choreography of Twyla Tharp in “Sinatra Suite” and a world premiere by principal dancer and choreographer James Whiteside.

Dancing in the Streets – Bridge Street and Gore Creek Drive – 12 p.m.

Dancing in the Streets is one of many Fringe Festival Events that will be held throughout the Vail Dance Festival. Express yourself during this free event on Saturday and be led by members of Malpaso Dance Company.

Festival Forums – Manor Vail – 9:30 a.m.

Join Rebecca King Ferraro and Michael Sean Breeden from the popular podcast series “Conversations On Dance” as they host in-depth discussions with Vail Dance Festival artists. Tickets are available at

For a full schedule of the entire festival, visit   

Toots and the Maytals at the Vilar

Enjoy the sounds of legendary reggae music at the Vilar Performing Arts Center with Toots and the Maytals on Friday. The music is so legendary that this band is credited with giving the genre its name. “Do the Reggay” was the band’s 1968 hit and Toots and the Maytals were also featured in the 1972 film, “The Harder They Come,” reggae’s biggest breakthrough event that became an international sensation.

For the past five decades, the group has been led by the masterful vocals of Fred “Toots” Hibbert, who was ranked 71st on “Rolling Stone” magazine’s list of “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” in 2010. The group completed a 50th anniversary tour in 2018 and recently released the single “A Song Call Marley,” an ode to another one of Jamaica’s greatest reggae musicians. The group won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 2004.

It’s interesting to see who has done collaborations with and covers of the band’s songs.

The Clash and the Specials have covered their tunes and legends like Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Bonnie Raitt have shared a microphone with them. Toots and the Maytals have done a few cover songs themselves including “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver.

Celebrate five decades of reggae music that will fill the Vilar stage with this six-piece band and two backup singers. The show begins at 8 p.m. but arrive early for the pre-show Lower Lobby Bar Happy Hour starting at 6 p.m. featuring incredible drink specials and music by a local band, The Runaway Grooms (attendees must have valid show ticket to enter). Tickets are $52 and can be purchased by calling the box office at 970-845-8497 or by going to

Bravo! Vail After Dark

Although Bravo! Vail Music Festival has wrapped up performances at the Ford Amphitheater, the music continues at other venues throughout the Vail Valley. Enjoy a different side of this Vail summer music tradition by venturing out to a few new venues and hear some great music before the festival comes to a close on Aug. 4.

On Saturday, enjoy the bold sounds of brass at the Edwards Interfaith Chapel. The Brass Project is part of the free concert series offered throughout the festival and will feature trumpet, horn, trombone and tuba all playing works by Bach, Franklin and more. The performance begins at 6 p.m.

Bravo! Vail also takes its sounds to the bars and nightclubs of Vail with Bravo! Vail After Dark. This series allows listeners to experience the expertise and talents of the artists in a different setting and in a different way. Sunday evening showcases new works by father and son duo, bassist Edgar Meyer and violinist George Meyer along with mandolin player Mike Marshall.

Bringing Bravo! Vail to the bars breaks down the stereotypes if you only think of these musicians in an orchestra setting. Here, be prepared to hear contemporary works and cutting edge premieres. The Meyers along with Marshall will premiere a new piece, co-written by the father-son duo and co-commissioned by Bravo! Vail.

Edgar Meyer has composed for and played with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Joshua Bell and has earned Grammys for his work. Marshall has collaborated with Joshua Bell, Bela Fleck and Sam Bush.

Tickets are $10 and a limited number of pre-sale tickets are available at or purchase tickets at the Shakedown Bar starting at 7:30 p.m. the night of the show and the performance begins at 8:30 p.m.

Star Party with Walking Mountains

Walking Mountains Science Center typically takes us on hikes where we are checking out the floral and fauna and things we find on the ground, but this Friday they invite you to look toward the sky and seek out the stars.

A Star Party will be hosted by longtime astronomy expert and astrophotographer Bryan R. White. White will lead the group in discovering the features of the night sky via computerized telescopes. A little background on White, who brings more than 60 years of astronomical experience to this topic, he’s an author and photographer whose works have been in museums, magazines and some of his images have even been used by NASA in their programs.

Should the weather not permit viewing through telescopes, astronomer Bryan will show us his 3D night sky photography program, with images of astronomical objects like Aurora Borealis and comets. Walking Mountains will contact all registrants by 5:00 p.m. on Friday if they anticipate too much cloud cover for the program. The “cloudy day” back-up date is Saturday, July 27 at the same time. 

Please arrive at the Walking Mountains campus just north of Avon and be parked and ready to go by 8:45 p.m. The event goes until 12 a.m. Dress for the cooler temperatures at night and bring along a lawn chair if you have one. Coffee, tea and snacks will be available or feel free to bring your own drinks and snacks. The cost is $20 per adult and $20 per child (8-16 years old). Registration is required for this program. Go to for more information.

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